Oldham Countians of the Year

Murners receive surprise honor
at Oldham Chamber dinner

They are only the second ever couple
to receive the award

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

PROSPECT, Ky. – The look on Anne Murner’s face said it all. She may have been surprised at the award she and her husband, Duane, had just won, but residents of Oldham County were not.

Anne and Duane Murner

Photo provided

Anne and Duane Murner receive the Oldham Countian of the Year award Nov. 12 from last year’s recipient Kevin Jeffries. The dinner was held in Prospect.

“We were both surprised and stunned,” said Duane Murner, 75, of receiving the Oldham Countian of the Year award as a couple. “I felt very honored by it.”
Before their names were announced as the recipients of the award at an Oldham County Chamber of Commerce dinner on Nov. 12 at Harmony Landing Country Club, Duane said he had “been preparing to make remarks on behalf of a different person who I thought would be getting the award.”
“I was completely stunned,” said Anne, 76. “I thought we were celebrating someone else.”
“The Murners are the perfect example of what the recognition was set up to do,” said Deana Epperly Karem, executive director of the Oldham County Chamber & Economic Development. “The Oldham Countian of the Year Award was created to recognize individuals in the community who give of themselves to make it a great place to live and work.”
The Murners are only the second couple in the 49-year history of the award to be honored with this recognition. “Oldham County is a community of tradition, and this tradition has lived for almost 50 years by recognizing some of the most dedicated and talented visionaries across the county,” she said.
The couple moved to Oldham County in 1980, first settling in Crestwood and then Prospect. Duane Murner was recruited to come to the area by the company he worked for, Commonwealth Life Insurance Co. He was raised in Chicago and South Dakota and attended school in the east, graduating from Harvard.
The Murners are heavily involved in many aspects of the community, each with their own areas of interest. Duane Murner has been involved in several organizations “that I really feel good about,” he said. These include being on the board of Baptist Northeast hospital, being active with the county’s Development Authority and the Oldham County Historical Society.

Oldham Countians
of the Year
Past Winners

2012 Duane and Anne Murner
2011 Kevin Jeffries
2010 Kurt Vezner
2009 Dennis Johnson
2008 Gary Haupt
2007 Joe McWilliams
2006 George Parrish
2005 Lambert Franklin
2004 Fran Scott
2003 Barry & Bobbie Stoess
2002 Mary Broecker
2001 Kevin Eldridge
2000 W. Blake Haselton
1999 Jonathan Westbrook
1998 Joan Bryant
1997 Jim Zimmerman
1996 Bill Howard
1995 Steve Shultz
1994 Charles “Dee” Kelley
1993 Eddy Barber
1992 Robert A. Reid
1991 Dianne Earing
1990 Lee Clore
1989 Harold Smith
1988 Jim Hannah
1987 Dennis Deibel
1986 Gene Armstrong
1985 Bruce Hamilton
1984 A.L. Meacham
1983 Edward G. Houchin
1982 Howard Mahan
1981 Vivian Renhardt
1980 Dennis Fritz
1979 Robert Arvin
1978 Wendell Moore
1977 Arvel McMahan
1976 George F. Williamson
1975 Jim Chambers
1974 James A. Hall
1973 Richard Beard
1972 J.T. Walsh, M.D.
1971 Clayton Stoess Sr.
1970 Richard Radcliffe
1969 Charles F. Lambert
1968 Hiram Taylor
1967 Clyde Taylor
1966 Joe Tom Clifton
1965 Alton Ross
1964 Milton C. Stoess

He has been on the board of the South Oldham Fire Department, served as an Oldham County Fiscal Court magistrate and is a past Oldham County Judge-Executive. The latter accomplishment “was a very special chapter in my life,” he said.
When it comes to serving others, his wife is not one to sit back and let her husband do all of the work. Anne is involved in the Oldham County Educational Foundation, is an Oldham County Public Library trustee and joined the Crestwood Civic Club in the mid-1980s.
“A good neighbor and friend invited me to join,” she said of her civic club involvement. “It’s quite an organization.”
The club that will turn 100 years old in two years. “It was a wonderful way to be introduced to the community.”
Their interests are varied and because of that “they give of their time, money, experience and selves to everything that makes Oldham County special,” said Karem. “They treasure its history, its businesses, its people, and its value system. And that’s where they invest their time, money and energy.”
One involvement that is special to them both is their ties with Immaculate Conception Church in La Grange. As faithful members, they each serve on various committees and are “very active,” said Duane. The couple also has 15 grandchildren that keep them on their toes.
“They love this community,” said Karem. “If you know anything about the Murners, you know they do everything at 110 percent. Oldham County gets everything the Murners have to offer. They are very generous people in every sense of the world.”
“It goes without saying, that we have been blessed all of our lives,” said Anne. “We feel the need to return to the community what we have been blessed with. We’ve found a lot of wonderful causes to work with.”
Giving back to their community is “just part of my genetic makeup,” said Duane. “It should be an important part of anybody’s life.”

Back to December 2012 Articles.



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